Protect Women's Healthcare Rights affected by Healthcare Reform

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We are writing to express our strong support for the Protect Access to Birth Control Act. The IFRs published on October 13, 2017 roll back the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) protection of birth control coverage, which has ensured access for more than 62 million women in the country. The new healthcare reform allows employers and universities to refuse women’s healthcare coverage on the basis of religious and moral objections.

 These IFRs are particularly outrageous given that birth control is basic healthcare for millions around the country.  The nonpartisan Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended that birth control be covered as women’s preventative care because it is fundamental to improving not only women’s health, but the health of their families as well and this recommendation was reaffirmed as recently as last year.  Nearly 95% women of will use contraception at some point in their lives, whether for family planning or other medical reasons like treating endometriosis.  The rate of unintended pregnancy is at its lowest in 30 years[1] and the rate of pregnancy among teens is at a historic low[2] because of expanded access to birth control and sex education.

 The ACA’s birth control benefit has also improved women’s economic security, enabling women to pursue professional and education opportunities.  The decision whether or when to have children is one of the most important economic decisions a woman will make in her lifetime, and access to birth control coverage is critical to this planning.  In 2014, an estimated 20 million women were in need of publically funded contraceptives services and supplies because they either had an income below 250% of the federal poverty level or were younger than 20 (and thus were likely to have had a heightened need– for reasons of confidentiality– to obtain care without depending on their family’s resources or private insurance).  The federal and state governments provide funding for family planning services and supplies to help women meet these challenges.[3]

We are deeply concerned that as a result of these IFRs some people will no longer be guaranteed birth control coverage under the ACA.  Please support and advocate for affordable and accessible women’s health care.  Family planning should be a right every woman can choose.  To not have accessible and preventative health coverage for women goes against our rights.      

Sincerely,

Two Concerned Women

[1] “U.S. Unintended Pregnancy Rate Falls to 30-Year Low; Declines Seen in Almost All Groups, but Disparities Remain.” Guttmacher Institute. October 18, 2016.
[2] “U.S. Teen Pregnancy, Birth and Abortion Rates Reach the Lowest Levels in Almost Four Decades.” September 07, 2017.
[3] Contraceptive Needs and Services, 2014 Update, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2016.  http://www.gutmacher.org/pubs/win/contraceptive-needs-2014.pdf



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